Second, Fifth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits agree that supplying “necessaries” by itself won’t justify a maritime lien.

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Case Type:
Case Status:
Affirmed in part and Reversed in part
No. 16-35539 (9th Circuit, Oct 11,2018) Published
9th Cir. affirmed in part and reversed in part district court's (WD Wa.) summary judgment in favor of defendant vessel owner in bunker supplier's (marine fuel) suit for payment based on maritime lien. Panel reversed district court's award of costs to defendant. Bunker supplier did not provide fuel on order of vessel owner or agent and thus was not entitled to maritime lien. Vessel owner purchased bunkers from fuel broker, which separately purchased fuel from supplier. Broker was not owner or owner's agent. District court could not award costs absent statute which didn't authorize bond costs.
Procedural context:
District court (WD Wa.) entered summary judgment in favor of defendant and awarded costs to defendant. Plaintiff appealed to 9th Circuit.
Owner of vessel (Yang Ming) ordered ship bunker (i.e., fuel for ship) from "OWB." Contract designated OWB as seller and Yang Ming as buyer. OWB procured fuel for delivery from third party, "BH." BH and OWB entered into separate contract for delivery of fuel to OWB. BH delivered the fuel directly to Yang Ming, and billed OWB for payment. OWB filed bankruptcy. BH filed suit against Yang Ming for payment, asserting a maritime lien based on delivery of the bunker.
Smith, Watford, Rayes

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